LOS ANGELES Latin-rockers Santana won early at the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards, scoring six trophies for their smash album Supernatural during awards presentations held prior to the televised ceremony.
Supernatural's signature hit single "Smooth" (RealAudio excerpt), featuring Matchbox 20's Rob Thomas, won for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals, while the salsa-tinged "El Farol" won for Best Pop Instrumental Performance. The long-running San Francisco Bay Area rock collective, led by namesake guitarist Carlos Santana, also took the Best Rock Album award.
Supernatural also won the Best Rock Duo/Group With Vocal award for a collaboration with former House of Pain rapper and solo singer Everlast, on the hit "Put Your Lights On," and Best Rock Instrumental Performance for "The Calling," a collaboration with British guitar icon Eric Clapton. The sixth award was for Best Pop Duo/Group With Vocal for the track "Maria Maria," which featured Fugees rapper and solo star Wyclef Jean.
The album was nominated for 10 awards and received a nod for "Smooth" songwriting team Thomas and Itaal Shur.
Eighty-eight of the year's 98 Grammy awards were presented before the main awards ceremony, broadcast on CBS-TV at 8 p.m. EST.
Dance diva Madonna also struck early Grammy gold on Wednesday with a win for her "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" song "Beautiful Stranger" (RealAudio excerpt). Madonna and producer William Orbit took home the award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media, according to a list posted on the official Grammy Awards Web site (www.grammy.com).
Rapper Eminem (born Marshall Mathers) beat out such contemporary stars as Busta Rhymes, Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, Nas and the Roots in the Best Rap Album category with his The Slim Shady LP. Eminem also won the Best Rap Solo Performance award for his hit "My Name Is" (RealAudio excerpt).
Alternative icon Beck continued his winning Grammy ways with a Best Alternative Music Performance nod for his experimental Mutations album; Beck won two Grammys in 1996.
Veteran hard-rockers Metallica won Best Hard Rock Performance for their song "Whiskey in the Jar," from their Garage Inc. covers album, and classic-rocker Lenny Kravitz scored the Best Male Rock Vocal Performance award for his cover of the Guess Who's "American Woman" (RealAudio excerpt), from the "Austin Powers" soundtrack.
Singer/songwriter Sheryl Crow also won for a cover song, scoring the Best Female Rock Vocal Performance trophy for her take on Guns N' Roses' "Sweet Child o' Mine," which appeared on the "Big Daddy" soundtrack.
Los Angeles punk-funk group the Red Hot Chili Peppers won for Best Rock Song with their hit "Scar Tissue" (RealAudio excerpt). Long-running metal legends Black Sabbath took the Best Metal Performance statue for their signature song "Iron Man," from their aptly titled reunion album Reunion.
Another veteran winning an early Grammy was rough-voiced crooner Tom Waits, whose Mule Variations snagged the Best Contemporary Folk Album award.
R&B trio TLC won the Best R&B Song and Best R&B Duo/Group With Vocal award for their hit "No Scrubs," as well as Best R&B Album for their multiplatinum CD, Fanmail.